Panic Attack First Aid
Many of us has experienced some kind of panic attack episodes and they really can be overwhelming and scary. They are sudden and intense surges of fear, or anxiety, and they happen really unexpectedly.
When people experience panic attacks, they may have :
- difficulty with breathing
- sweat a lot
- feel their hearts pounding
- chest pain
- tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
Some people may also experience chest pain and a feeling of detachment from reality, or even themselves during a panic attack, so they make think they’re having a heart attack instead, or stroke in some cases.
Panic attacks are generally brief, lasting less than 10 minutes, although some of the symptoms may persist for a longer period of time.
In case you’ll find yourself in this kind of situation, this is something you should consider:
First thing you need to do is to try to breathe deeply, so you can calm down a little bit, because hyperventilating can make you may faint.
Focus ONLY on breathing and nothing else.
Take deep breaths in and out through your mouth, and try to focus on the feeling how air is slowly filling your chest.
While breathing – count to 4, hold on for a second and exhale counting to 4 again.
This is very good yoga exercise to calm your body.
Recognize The Symptoms
This is very important because if you know you are experiencing panic attacks, you are not having a heart attack as you may think so.
Remind yourself that this is temporary situation and it will pass, and that you’ll be OK.
You are not dying – you need to distinct from that thought. If you recognize these symptoms, it can allow you to focus on other techniques to reduce panic symptoms you may have.
Keep Your Eyes Closed
Panic attacks can be so overwhelming, that some people faint almost instantly. If this happens in an environment full of stimulating sounds, it can worsen the problem.
This is why it is necessary to seat down, close your eyes and try to distinct from the noise practicing slow breathing.
Keep Yourself Grounded
It can help ground you in the reality surrounding. These attacks may cause a feeling of detachment or separation from reality, and being grounded can combat your panic attack as it is approaching, or actually happening.
Try to focus to all physical sensations you are familiar with. Take your shoes off, put your feet on a ground or grass and focus on the feeling.
These specific sensations will ground you, making you to de-focus from the attack momentarily.
Find An Object To Focus On
Some people find it very helpful if they focus to a single object during a panic attack. Look around and see if you can pick one to focus.
Patterns, color, shapes, and size of objects can make this work, therefore be persistence and just FOCUS.
Shortly, your panic symptoms may subside.
Try To Relax Your Muscles
Muscle relaxation techniques can help stop your panic attack if you know how to control your body’s response to it as much as possible.
Consciously relax one muscle at a time, starting with something simple, like the fingers in your hand, and move your way up through your body.
If you need, lay down on a grass if you are in nature (or city park), or if you are in the office, lay down on your office desk.
Relax bit by bit.
Use Your Imagination
Think of your happy place, whether it is a beach, mountain cabin, forest or lake. Picture yourself there trying to hear the sounds and feel the waves.
Imagine how you are digging your toes into a wet sand and feeling it in your hands too.
Or, if you picture yourself in the mountain, try to hear the sounds of the birds singing and leaves whispering to the wind.
Stay In Sunlight
If you are suffering from panic attacks, try to use sunshine as your healer. Whether you choose to walk or swim, it doesn’t really matter, as long you are active on daylight.
It is known that lavender smell have tremendous calming effect, and it is good if you keep one small bottle with you, just in case.
Lavender has soothing and stress-relieving characteristics and you can really benefit from it in such situations.
If you are experiencing a panic attack, put some lavender oil on your hands and breathe the scent.
Do You Have Your Mantra
If you don’t have it – invent it, and it can go something like this:
- I am cool, calm and collected
- Every breath I inhale calms me and every breath I exhale takes away tension
- Every cell in my body is relaxed and oozes confidence
- I transcend stress of any kind and I live in peace
- With every breath, I release the anxiety within me and I become calmer every minute
- I am free of anxiety and continue to do so
In case you have a panic disorder, your doctor must’ve prescribed you some medications, and if you feel it,s coming – pop a pill.
But, be careful as this medication can be highly addictive and the body can adjust to it over time. It should only be used sparingly and in cases of extreme need.
Don’t play with medications on your own and always consult your doctor prior using them.
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